Saturday , May 15 2021

Court of Justice: The King of Diamant of Israel stole my smuggling business 20 years ago – Business



At the first hearing, in which the authorities asked for an extension of the custody of suspects in the case of the Lev Leviev LLD diamond company, a police appeal was rejected at the beginning of this month. Maybe Chesners told the court that, according to evidence, LLD has systematically been involved in the smuggling of diamonds to Israel since 2002. It can be considered with caution that this statement is based on evidence of a person who has shown evidence in a case whose name is protected by a gag order.

As it turned out, the claim filed in 1999 against Leviev and the same witness claimed that in 1998 it took over a polishing diamond plant that was used to cover the smuggling of unclassified stones from Russia to Israel. The court argued, but never proved that Levyev was financing the takeover of the plant.

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Under the tax system applied to the diamond industry up to the last year, the tax charged to the diamond traders was fixed as a percentage of the turnover of its business. Since there was no tax on imports of rough diamonds in Israel, there were no tax advantages for the import of diamonds into the country.

In the event that, since 1999, the plaintiff alleged that the transaction he had made in relation to diamond smuggling – which he then accused the State witnesses and Leviev of stealing from him – was intended to be cheated not by the Israeli authorities but against the Russian government . This is because Russia's diamond mining licenses prohibit the export of rough diamonds; before leaving the country they should be eliminated in the territory of Russia.

"Only smuggling overlay"

The names of the persons who filed the 1999 dispute and the persons against whom it was filed can not be published here because the last case has become the state evidence. It can be concluded that the person who filed the claim is an unnamed national witness who held shares in a Russian diamond polishing company through a chain of Israeli companies and foreign companies.

According to the unclean testimony, the deal served as cover for smuggling measures if the Russian authorities were to choose to check its compliance with the terms of its acquisition license, including the requirement to drop a diamond in the land of Russia.

File photo: Lev Levyev and his wife Olga outside the London Supreme Court on May 23, 2012.
Lucy Young / REX / Shutterstock

"The Russians have large diamond mines, and Russian rough diamonds were quite cheap," the uncle wrote, in a statement he filed a lawsuit. "However, Russian laws do not allow the export of rough diamonds, but rather require that they be polished and exported in Russia only after that."

"In order to export rough diamonds from Russia, Israeli diamond traders had to start a business to recycle them in Russia, because the Russian syndicate, which is responsible for the sale of crude stones, will sell them only to the Russian polishing plant and only according to the factory's ability to handle them," said uncle in his suit. "Instead of treating rough diamonds in a factory in Russia that was designed as a cover, it would use couriers to expel Russia from Russia's stones without the knowledge of the Russian authorities."

Judge at the Supreme Court, Hill Gerstel, who at that time was a judge at the Tel Aviv District Court, dismissed the uncle's suit in 2002 and expressed his inconvenience to the crimes described by the plaintiff in court with astonishing honesty. "From the little that was revealed to me, it turns out that the parties created a broad network of activities to circumvent Russian laws and maximize their profits while simultaneously committing unlawful actions in various ways," Gerstelle wrote in her decision.

"Leviev stole a trustee"

At the time when his uncle made a claim, the national witness was a new diamond dealer. According to an older man, his nephew started working for him on the day he was released from the Israeli Defense Forces, and in 1997 was appointed head of polishing and smuggling operations (as described by the uncle). As a result, the witness moved to St. Petersburg to live for some time.

In 1998, the unclean company in Israel was liquidated, and within the framework of this process the liquidator sells Russian factories to their brothers.

Diamond mines in Russia
Bloomberg

The main beef of his father against his nephew was that they had an agreement in which the nephew only bought the liquidator from the factory as a trusted party and then returned to the factory. However, claiming the uncle, his nephew drew him and put a piece with Leviev, who wanted the factory himself. According to the suit, Leviev paid for the fact that the niece had bought the factory, knowing that he facilitated the breach of contract between his uncle and his nephew.

According to the lawsuit, "Leviev, one of the richest men at Diamond Exchange, Ramat Gan, was deeply involved in the Russian market and wanted a license from the Russian syndicate to buy a cheap diamond, so he decided to work with his nephew to gain control over that source and thus caused by a nephew who deliberately violates the custody agreement with the plaintiff. "

Gerstela dismissed his uncle's claims in an agreement with his nephew – now a national witness – stating that the uncle had not provided sufficient evidence of his claims. Other allegations were also rejected, including his allegation that he was the owner of a diamond stock that was kept at the factory in a safe place.

Gerstel discredited the uncle of being a serious crime in the context of court proceedings. She explained that she had rejected his demands for diamond stocks, stating that, in view of the falsifications of the extensive documentation he described, he was responsible for his inability to prove his claims. "The court does not show enthusiasm for a party that is being destroyed by the proven problems that it itself has created with its illegal works," she wrote.

Jerter added: "I learned from the plaintiff, clearly and fully accepting my view that his activities in Russia were intended to deceive the Russian authorities and smuggling rough diamonds from Russia in order to earn money. To this end, a complex, skilled and well-developed oil system. "

She continued: "The point is that the plaintiff went to court without a clean hand. He publicly announced that he had violated foreign laws and deal with diamond smuggling. He even falsified Russian corporate documents for this. Now he complains that his job is really It is difficult because these documents describe inventory that does not exist and deny the existing inventory. "

Gerstel has included in her leading quotes, which the applicant questioned the liquidator, in which the plaintiff explained how easily he could "prepare books" to conceal illegal smuggling. "If there's not enough talk in my books [a reference to diamonds] At the end of the year, I can, within two minutes, submit a document that resolves my talks so that I have a surplus rather than a deficit. Exactly; this whole business is very disorganized, we are not the only ones, "he told the liquidator.

"So theoretically you can play with the same bag [small diamonds are often sold wrapped in bags] eight times "the liquidator asked.

"Eight times, 22 times possible," explained the uncle and added: "Do you want documents to be available now to 10 million? I will arrange documents for 10 million."

A part of the Leviev case was also rejected on the ground that the plaintiff had not shown that Levjev was involved in the plot described in order to control his smuggling business.

"With the exception of a few statements about controlling Leviev's conspiracy over his business, I did not find a significant argument against Leviev worth discussing. It seems that the defendant defendant correctly stated in his statement that Leviev was included in this trial for one purpose – it is relatively easy to use his statement as a bargaining chip and pressure to reach a compromise agreement, "Gerstel wrote.

After 20 years

In March 2018, nearly two decades after the trial, at the Ben-Gurion airport, two men belonging to a man who is now a national witness company were arrested and one of them was dealing with diamonds worth about a million sheks per person. The two carriers were questioned and quickly led by investigators to a national witness who said that he provided services to Lev Leviev and his LLD company. After six months of covert investigations, detectives burst into LLD offices and arrested several people, including Leviev's son Zevulun. The method of operation described by the police in its request for the extension of detention in this case was almost completely identical to that described in the State Testimony in 1999.

The main suspect Lev Leviev is currently in Russia and it is not clear when and when it will be possible to put him in a case.

So, how have diamonds been smuggled to Israel for so many years continuously? One of the possible answers can be found in the company's liquidator's witness, which was included in the court proceedings that he had filed, in which the site indicates that he cooperated with government officials. The liquidation file's protocol displays the following exchange:

Uncle: "I have news for you, I can bring you as much as you want without asking the gentleman."

Liquidator: "With the State of Israel?" (Reference to the stamp adopted by the Department of Economics of the Diamond Inspection Unit.)

Uncle: "As much as you want, what amount of money you want."

Liquidator: "Any Cartoons you Want?"

Uncle: "Whatever you want, what you want."

LLV's company, owned by Leviev, issued this statement at the beginning of this month: "The company is not at all familiar with the event reported by the press. Leviev and the companies under his control operate in accordance with the relevant standards, ensuring that they comply with the law. this issue will be clarified quickly, and the suspicion will be the basis. "


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